Jordan Fowlkes, State Champion
Submitted by Larry Boschen
The four qualifiers from Newman Grove's Wrestling Team competed in the Nebraska State Tournament. Once again it proved to be the toughest tournament we compete in, as it well should be.
Out of the 59 schools with wrestlers competing, Newman Grove made a good showing finishing 16th with 35 team points. Our team wrestled well with a team record of 9 – 7 and bringing home 2 medals.
Jordan Fowlkes, ranked 1st all season, was the State Champion at 103 and Sheldon Boschen was 6th at 112. Jordan going 4-0 started by pinning John Wright of Maxwell in the first round. In the quarter finals Jordan defeated 6th ranked Mason Araujo of Elmwood by a score of 6-0. Jordan's Semi final matchup was against 5th ranked Craig Dennis of Osmond and Jordan beat him 8-3. In the finals Jordan's opponent was 4th ranked Scott Kester of Neligh Oakdale and Jordan reigned supreme by a score of 9-2. Jordan finished the season with a perfect 42-0 setting a new school record for wins in a season.
Sheldon Boschen, ranked 6th started his medal run with a win over Taylor Hoeft of North Platte St. Pats by a score of 7-0. Next up for Sheldon was #1 ranked and eventual state champion Devin Zitek of East Butler and Sheldon lost by fall in :50. Sheldon's next opponent was 5th ranked Dalton Burke of Elm Creek and Sheldon won a very close 2-1 decision. Sheldon then defeated Lane Barry of Amherst to make it into the medal round by a score of 10-2. In the medal round Sheldon suffered two losses by first losing to 4th ranked Ben Kranda of David City Aquinas by fall in 2:54 and then to 3rd ranke Robbie Johnson of Stanton by fall in 2:00. Sheldon's record was 3-3.
Luke Gasper wrestling at 140 for Newman Grove had a tournament record of 1-2. Luke lost his first match to 2nd ranked Ethan Kahrs of Franklin by fall in 1:21. Kahrs ended up 3rd at the tournament. The next wrestler Luke faced was Caden Huenfeld of Nebraska Christian and Luke defeated him by a score of 14-4. Lukes 3rd match was against 5th ranked Heat Hammond of Randolph and Luke lost by fall in 2:34. Luke made a good run in his first State tournament and we look forward to him returning there next year.
Wyatt Wallin, the lone senior on the team finished with a record of 1-2 at the State Tournament. Wyatt lost a very close opening match by the score of 1-2 to Juan Bazan of Perkins County. Next match Wyatt defeated Brett Spanel of Anselmo Merna by a score of 9-5. Then Wyatt lost another close, controversial match to Lance Schiffet of Cambridge by score of 1-2. Schiffet eventually was the 5th place finisher. Wyatt has been a great leader for the team all year and his leadership down at State helped his teammates compete well at the tournament.
It was a real rollercoaster ride of emotions this weekend. This team is very special and every time each of these young athletes step on the mat they leave their blood, their sweat, and their hearts. We're very proud of the effort our young men put out in this very tough athletic event. Whenever you run across any of them make sure you give them a congrats, because they have earned it. Next week we will have an end of the season roundup article.